Dear Members of the Campus Community:
Many of you are likely aware that this weekend marks the start of the 26th annual United Nations Summit on Climate Change: an international effort involving 197 countries to confront the grave threat posed by global climate change and ecological destruction.
SUNY New Paltz is joining a community call to action to highlight the vital importance of this event. Local faith leaders and environmental groups, including the New Paltz Climate Action Coalition and Interfaith Climate Council, are planning a “Ring out for Climate” on the eve of the UN Summit.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, at 1 p.m., participants will ring church bells, play shofars, handheld instruments and drums, raise their voices and bang pots & pans as a call to action for the international community. The College’s van den Berg Clocktower with join the chorus in solidarity with this cause, and I encourage students, faculty and staff to participate as well.
I thank the event organizers and Coalition members, including Associate Professor Daniel Lipson, for working to include the College in New Paltz’s “Ring out for Climate” activities. Symbolic, community measures like this one are a valuable way for us all to participate in the movement to build a more sustainable future.
I also recognize that the urgency of this moment requires concrete action.
Next week’s UN Summit reminds us of the far-reaching effects of climate change, and the need for immediate, coordinated efforts to mitigate its harmful effects.
We continue to pursue financial resources and undertake other actions that will support the College’s drive toward carbon neutrality. In our personal lives we can all take important steps: reducing our consumption of goods, eating local foods, and making conscious decisions to reduce our use of electricity (until more is generated renewably) and fossil fuels.
Creating a sustainable future for our campus has been a top priority during my tenure as president, and it is a central focus of the search for my successor. We take pride in our progress so far, and also acknowledge that our institution and our society more broadly have so much more left to do, without delay.
I have full faith that our community will continue to show leadership on this issue in the years and decades to come.
Donald P. Christian